From Ndubuisi Orji and Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, gave the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, 24 hours ultimatum to return all documents relating to 2017 budget taken from the Abuja residence of the chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Sen. Danjuma Goje, by the police during a raid last week.
The House which condemned the invasion of Goje’s residence by the police, last Thursday, said during the action , the security agents broke doors, ceilings, soak-away and seized documents , including reports of the 2017 Appropriation Bill.
The Green Chamber noted that the documents must be returned no later than Thursday so as not to jeopardise the passage of the 2017 budget billed to be laid before the two chambers of the National Assembly this week.
Also, the House resolved to summon IGP to appear its before an ad-hoc committee of the House, to be set-up on the issue, to explain the circumstances surrounding the invasion. The ad-hoc is expected to submit its report within two weeks for further legislative action.
This is sequel to a motion sponsored by, Hon Abubakar Yunusa Ahmad (APC, Gombe) on the “Need to check the excesses of security agents with regard to invasion of residences of law abiding citizens.”
Majority of members of the House, who spoke on the motion roundly condemned the invasion of the residence Goje , a former governor of Gombe State by the police, describing it as a breach of his fundamental human rights.
The lawmakers expressed anger over the way the police and other security agencies have been invading the homes of private citizens, without recourse to due process, under the guise of fighting against corruption.
Leading debate on the motion, Ahmad said the invasion of Goje’s residence amounted to a gross violation of his fundamental human right.
He noted that the manner security agencies in the country are going about the fight against corruption is not the way to go.
Speaking on the motion, Hon Toby Okechukwu (PDP Enugu) accused the security agencies of attempting to come the legislature.
He said it is the duty of the parliament to call question, anything considered untoward in the country and urged the House to raise to the challenge.
“They have cowed the judiciary. Now they have proceeded to the legislature. We cannot allow that. We must call to question anything considered untoward.
“Goje house was invaded, we don’t know the reason. This kind of whistle blowing should be driven by intelligence.”
Similarly, Hon Sergius Ogun (PDP, Edo) said the House must put a stop to the undue harassment of innocent citizens by security agencies in the country.
“They (police) should not get away with it. If a senator can be so treated. Where is the fate of the ordinary Nigerians. We must put a stop to it.”
However, Hon Ahmed Musa Soba (APC, Kaduna) while urging the House not to take a position yet on the issue, dismissed the motion as “judgmental”.
He said taking a stand on the police invasion of Goje’s residence, without an investigation would subject the House to public ridicule.
The lawmaker said it is the duty of the executive arm of government to arrest, investigate and perceived crimes, noting asking police to return document is tantamount to asking them to return their exhibits.
“This motion is not calling for investigation. It is judgemental. We should not be seen to be seated here to enforce anybody fundamental right,” Soba stated.
However, middle way into his submission, he heckled by legislators in favour of the motion.